Surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest, Virginia Lake is a real gem, set just south of a string of peaks that stretch to 2,000 feet in elevation. The lake itself is at 820 feet. Because Virginia Lake is small, it does not see much boat traffic, aside from a few fishermen. Trout fishing here is said to be good. The forested shores—primarily oak—on the west, south, and east give way to marshy inlets on the north that drain the surrounding peaks.
During spring high water, you should be able to paddle back into the swamp a little way. Besides the typical bog vegetation, there is an alder swamp, the summer home of an uncommon and very drab warbler-sized bird, called appropriately enough the alder flycatcher. Prominent fish species: white perch and chain pickerel.
© John Hayes & Alex Wilson/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.